The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO), and its partners, Stars Shine for Everyone (Sterren Schitteren voor Iedereen, SSVI) and the University of Leiden, have announced the awardees of the 2022 Telescopes for All project. As such, Five African entities have been selected to receive telescopes alongside ten other entities worldwide. The project seeks to broaden the horizons of children, parents, and educators alike to spark an interest in science and promote equal opportunities to access astronomy.
The African beneficiary proposals include
- Primary School Astronomy Project with Women in STEM-BW (WiS), Women in STEM-BW (WiS), Botswana;
- Astro Tchad, Association Tchadienne D’astronomie, Chad;
- Astronomy at School, Sciences Physiques et Avenir, Madagascar;
- The Astronomy Bicycle Between the Countries of Africa., “Alaa On Bike”, Morocco; and
- Tanga Telescope for All, The Open University of Tanzania, Tanga Regional Centre, Tanzania.
Each selected proposal will receive a special edition telescope celebrating the OAO’s 10th anniversary. They are self-built Newtonian telescopes, custom-made with Bresser parts by the amateur telescope building group Kijkerbouw of the Public Observatory Armand Pien (Ghent University) in Belgium for SSVI. The equipment comes complete with a telescope tube, a wooden mount, a viewfinder, zenith prism, solar filter, three Plössl eyepieces, and an electronic eyepiece (webcam). OAO will begin shipping the telescopes later this year.
The 2022 Telescopes for All project received 104 applications from 35 countries with the active support of the IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs). The selected proposals will bring telescopes to underserved communities in Puerto Rico and childhood cancer patients in Iraq; they will help tackle educational disparities in Chad, Bangladesh and Madagasgar; and they will improve access to STEAM education in Mexico and rural communities in Botswana. Each of the winning proposals expands access to and knowledge of astronomy – two of the main goals of the OAO.